alps mountains

[121] During these visits Shelley wrote the poem "Mont Blanc", Byron wrote "The Prisoner of Chillon" and the dramatic poem Manfred, and Mary Shelley, who found the scenery overwhelming, conceived the idea for the novel Frankenstein in her villa on the shores of Lake Geneva in the midst of a thunderstorm. [127] The Swiss Confederation mobilized its troops—the country follows the doctrine of "armed neutrality" with all males required to have military training—a number that General Eisenhower estimated to be about 850,000. [54] Although the area is only about 11 percent of the surface area of Europe, the Alps provide up to 90 percent of water to lowland Europe, particularly to arid areas and during the summer months. Chalets often face south or downhill, and are built of solid wood, with a steeply gabled roof to allow accumulated snow to slide off easily. [133], Cheesemaking is an ancient tradition in most Alpine countries.

Other larger and important cities within the Alps with over 100,000 inhabitants are in Tyrol with Bolzano (Italy), Trento (Italy) and Innsbruck (Austria). [148], The lower regions and larger towns of the Alps are well-served by motorways and main roads, but higher mountain passes and byroads, which are amongst the highest in Europe, can be treacherous even in summer due to steep slopes. Edward Whymper reached the top of the Matterhorn in 1865 (after seven attempts), and in 1938 the last of the six great north faces of the Alps was climbed with the first ascent of the Eiger Nordwand (north face of the Eiger).

[37], Peaks in France, Italy and Switzerland lie in the "Houillière zone", which consists of basement with sediments from the Mesozoic Era. Gentians are named after the Illyrian king Gentius, and 40 species of the early-spring blooming flower grow in the Alps, in a range of 1,500 to 2,400 m (4,900 to 7,900 ft). [62] The height of the Alps is sufficient to divide the weather patterns in Europe into a wet north and a dry south because moisture is sucked from the air as it flows over the high peaks. [126], By 1940 many of the Alpine countries were under the control of the Axis powers.

The lowest of the Alpine passes at 985 m (3,232 ft), the Semmering crosses from Lower Austria to Styria; since the 12th century when a hospice was built there, it has seen continuous use. The Union Internationale des Associations d'Alpinisme (UIAA) has defined a list of 82 "official" Alpine summits that reach at least 4,000 m (13,123 ft).

In some areas the modern practice of building ski runs by mechanical means has destroyed the underlying tundra from which the plant life cannot recover during the non-skiing months, whereas areas that still practice a natural piste type of ski slope building preserve the fragile underlayers. [4][80], The largest mammal to live in the highest altitudes are the alpine ibex, which have been sighted as high as 3,000 m (9,800 ft). In Roman times, "Albania" was a name for the eastern Caucasus, while in the English languages "Albania" (or "Albany") was occasionally used as a name for Scotland,[7] although it is more likely derived from the Latin word albus,[5] the color white. Some meals are communal, such as fondue, where a pot is set in the middle of the table for each person to dip into. The Lauberhorn is the more strenuous downhill race at 4.5 km (2.8 mi) and poses danger to racers who reach 130 km/h (81 mph) within seconds of leaving the start gate. At the end of World War II the US Army occupied Obersalzberg, to prevent Hitler from retreating with the Wehrmacht into the mountains. 351 379 23. [124], By the mid-19th century scientists began to arrive en masse to study the geology and ecology of the region. The Union Internationale des Associations d'Alpinisme (UIAA) has defined a list of 82 "official" Alpine summits that reach at least 4,000 m (13,123 ft).

(2011). [114] In the 18th century four Chamonix men almost made the summit of Mont Blanc but were overcome by altitude sickness and snowblindness. [26] The list includes not only mountains, but also subpeaks with little prominence that are considered important mountaineering objectives. [13] The Rhône is second to the Nile as a freshwater source to the Mediterranean Sea; the river begins as glacial meltwater, flows into Lake Geneva, and from there to France where one of its uses is to cool nuclear power plants. These places are best for mountains in Swiss Alps: Which places provide the best mountains in Swiss Alps for kids and families? The Swiss commanders wired the infrastructure leading into the country with explosives, and threatened to destroy bridges, railway tunnels and roads across passes in the event of a Nazi invasion; and if there was an invasion the Swiss army would then have retreated to the heart of the mountain peaks, where conditions were harsher, and a military invasion would involve difficult and protracted battles. Brown trout can be found in the streams up to the snow line. "High altitude biodiversity of the Alps and the Himalayas: ethnobotany, plant distribution and conservation perspective". [115], Conrad Gessner was the first naturalist to ascend the mountains in the 16th century, to study them, writing that in the mountains he found the "theatre of the Lord". Among the many substances Celtic tribes mined was salt in areas such as Salzburg in Austria where evidence of the Hallstatt culture was found by a mine manager in the 19th century.

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